34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
“All you need is love.” When you read those words, do you suddenly hear the Beatles tune in your head? I do. I doubt John Lennon had John 13:34-35 in mind when he wrote that song, but the song is a good reminder of Jesus’ words. Ultimately, all this world really needs is to know the love of Jesus Christ.
What is love, and why is it needed? The word Jesus used for love in the New Testament is the Greek word agape. It is used frequently to denote being selfless or others-focused. It is a different word than the one we use for romance (that’s eros in the Greek, from which we get our English word erotic). When Jesus talked about loving one another, He was talking about treating others the way He treated them.
This world is starving for genuine agape love. In James 3, the Bible talks about our world as one filled with bitter envy, selfish ambition, fighting and wars. So far, 2020 has certainly lived up to that description. The solution is for us, as recipients of God’s love, to display God’s love in the world by being peace-loving, considerate, submissive and full of mercy and good fruit. Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is patient and kind. This world needs to see the love of Jesus Christ displayed in our lives. Everything good will follow from there.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- You cannot give away something you do not have. Have you received God’s love? Have you asked Him for the forgiveness of your sins and invited Jesus to become the Lord of your life? Believe me, until you do that, you really haven’t experienced love.
- If you are a believer, ask yourself an honest question: can people tell I am a follower of Jesus by the way I love others? Get real. What do you need to change about the way you relate to others so they will see the love of God flowing through you?
Pray with thanksgiving that God invites us into His redemptive story in the world, and grows us to go, share and send. Ask Him what this could look like in your heart and in your family.